LOW BLOOD PRESSURE (BP) AND HEALTH
Many persons have considerable about blood pressure and yet do not know what this term really means. By blood pressure is meant the pressure and yet do not know what this term really means. By blood pressure is meant the pressure or tension in the arteries, which depends upon secular factors; the beat of the heart, the condition of the blood vessel walls, the amount of blood in the vessels, and the general tissue tone.
Blood pressure usually is recorded by one figure over another, resembling a fraction, such as 120/80. This is not a fraction, The upper figure represents the systolic pressure, in other words the pressure in the vessel at the time of maximum increase in blood at the time of a heart-beat. The lower figure represents the diastolic pressure and indicates the pressure in the arteries during heart relaxation, between one heart-beat and the next.
Blood pressure is taken by a device called a syphgmo-manometer. The original device and the device used to a great extent today is a cloth-enclosed rubber band which encircles the arm, from which two hollow rubber tubes lead, one going to a bulb and the other to a box containing a column of mercury with a reservoir in the bottom. When the band is applied about the arm and the tubes properly attached to the bulb and the mercury column, the physician repeatedly presses the bulb until the artery in the arm is sufficiently compressed to obliterate the pulse in the wrist.
Formally only the systolic pressure was taken, but now both pressures are taken. The systolic pressure was taken and easily may be taken by the finger of the physician on the wrist. But to secure both blood pressures they physician now uses the stethoscope, which is placed just below the bend of the elbow on the fore-arm. After obliterating the pulse, with the stethoscope in place, the valve on the bulb is released slowly until through the stethoscope are heard the first sounds coinciding with the heart-beats. When the bulb has been compressed the column of mercury has risen in the glass tube, and as it descends upon releasing the valve, observation is made at the point the mercury has reached when the first sounds are heard. At the side of the glass tube are markings two millimeters apart, and the systolic pressure is read in millimeters according to the point reached by the mercury. Then the valve is further opened to release pressure, and the column or mercury descends. At the point where sounds again fade out, the point where the mercury stops is read as the diastolic pressure.
Another device frequently used now is a dial instead of the column of mercury. This dial is collaborated to correspond to the millimeters on the mercury column. The use of the mercury column, however, gave rise to a term which is used whether the mercury column or the dial syphgmomanometer is used--that is “millimeters of mercury.”
The normal systolic blood pressure ranges from 100 to 150 mm. (millimeters of mercury). Formerly it was considered normal for men to have a blood pressure of 100 plus the age, and women 90 plus the age. This will not hold above the age of 40, and even at 75 to 85 years it would be better to have a blood pressure of not over 135 or 140. There is less wear and tear upon the heart and blood-vessels, nervous energy and general vitality where a blood pressure of early adult life is maintained throughout the remainder of life.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is discussed earlier in this book, and in this section is considered suitable treatment for most cases of high blood pressure. Arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is one of the more serious results of hypertension.
A low blood pressure, or hypertension, may result from one of several conditions, though as a rule a moderately low blood pressure need be given no consideration. Causes of low blood pressure are diminished reserved power of circulation; heart weakness; exhaustion of adrenal glands by severe toxemia’s and infections (As after typhoid fever, influenza and pneumonia, and in tuberculosis and diabetes); chronic tobacco poisoning,; operations; from anesthetics and shocks; hemorrhage; anemia; general run-down conditions; malnutrition, and other conditions. Usually when there is a low blood pressure there is less energy; one “plays out” more quickly, the energy being more like that of kindling, which flares up briefly and is soon exhausted.
Treatment- The cause of hypertension should be discovered and removed if possible. If is is the result of chronic degeneration of the heart-muscle a grate deal of rest is required, though in order to tone up and restrengthen the heart it will be necessary as soon as possible to take up moderate walking and gradually work into other types of exercise or to more vigorous walking. In most other cases, where the heart is not involved, graduated exercises are permissible from the first, though graduated exercises are permissible from the first, though if more than a slight degree of fatigue results from the exercise the blood pressure is likely to drop still further. Tonic baths are of considerable benefit, but of course must be adapted to the individual’s reactive powers. A tonic bath is any bath below body temperature. The needle bath and light percussion are valuable, and massage is of benefit in all cases.
The former belief was that large quantities of “good substantial food,” particularly of meat, were necessary in order to raise the blood pressure. In many cases of low blood pressure there has been hearty eating, with large quantities of meat and other supposed-to-be good food. The majority of cases will do much better if meat is eliminated from the diet or used in very limited quantities and if the diet is made up mainly of large quantities of fruits and green vegetables. Fasting may be employed at the beginning of treatment, but only for a few days, usually a day or two. Instead of the fast a fruit-juice or juicy fruits desired, at regular meal times or from four to six times a day. Following the fruit fast a strict milk diet for several weeks is one of the best means of overcoming practically all the conditions that may be responsible for the low blood pressure. If this diet is taken the maximum quantify of milk up to five and half quartz for women and seven quarts for men should be taken daily, with one or two oranges or a grapefruit daily. Constipation should be avoided by the use of prunes, figs, bran or bran muffins with the milk diet or by the use of the daily enema--if bowel activity should be sluggish on the milk diet alone.
There must be an abundance of relaxation and sleep to permit recovery of balance in the nervous system and in the glandular system, but exercise or physical activity is necessary if the condition is to be permanently corrected. Rectal dilation sometimes helps appreciably, also spinal manipulation if there is any undue tension in the spinal muscles or ligaments or if thee is any bony impingements of nerves.
Medical authorities declare adrenal substance quite helpful in this condition, because it provides to the body a direct tonic, which serves an immediate purpose of favorably influencing the blood pressure, while at the same time saving to provide rest and recovery of the adrenal glands. Usually a combination gland tablet or capsule is better than adrenal substance alone--one containing adrenal and thyroid particularly, with or without gonad substance. While the blood pressure may not be raised rapidly (and in fact it usually does not increase as rapidly as many cases of high blood pressure reduce), yet by a close adherence to the natural treatment as suggested there will be a gradual return to or toward normal.
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